Rev. Dr. Chris Wright preaches at All Souls Langham Place (May 2011) on the topic, ‘I am what I do” in a sermon series entitled, “Urban Myths of London Life”.
He explores the myth that “I am what I do” in the context of our working lives.
- Ambiguity – “The human person hands who has … the hands to make ?a knife as a tool also has the heart that is sinful enough to use the knife as a weapon to kill somebody” (Genesis 4:19-24). ?Work can deceive you.
- Futility – “No matter how hard we work, there is no guarantee that what we strive for will actually be accomplished or that when it is accomplished that it will last or that we will be there in the end to enjoy it.” ?(Ecclesiastes 1,2) ?Work can depress you.
- Idolatry?- “The work of our lives which we were created to do for the honour of God now in itself becomes corrupted into a source of pride and greed and consumerist desire for ever more and bigger and faster.” ?(Deuteronomy 8:12-14). ?Work can destroy us.?
How can we know if we have fallen for the ambiguity, futility and idolatry of work the speaker asks and suggests this question: “What would you be if you lost the ability ?to do all the things that you’re good at? Who would you be if you were shorn of all that you energetically and?enthusiastically?throw yourself into day after day?”?
Finally, he proposes a strategy to resist the myth of “I am what I do” – that if you have nothing to do, you hardly matter? ?He suggests three principles from Scripture :
- Remember the Sabbath – even God the worker rests (Genesis 1); it reminds us that work itself is not God. ?Build Sabbath into your life.?
- Remember your status -?we get our status from who we are in Christ (John 13:3,4). ?
- Remember the story – remember the Bible story that you are in, the story that runs from creation to new creation. So Paul says, “I am a new creation.” ?